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White Chicken Chili


Chicken chili can sometimes take the back seat to the classic beef chili, but I’d like to propose a recipe to counter even the best beef chilis out there (sorry, mom!). Not that it will replace them – after all, there’s a time for chicken chili and a time for beef chili.

I make a lot of chicken stock for clients – by a lot I mean…. a lot. I’ve got a plethora of quarts in the freezer at all times. That being said, I go through a lot of chicken. Sometimes I feel like all Ian and I eat is chicken.

This rendition of Chicken Chili

However, this recipe came about when I needed something fast – once again Ian and I were working non-stop until suddenly one of us realized it was 7:30 PM and we hadn’t even thought about dinner yet. I saw the chicken I had shredded after using it in the chicken stock I made earlier in the day, and thought hmmm I’ve got peppers and corn and beans… chili in the making!

Some Tips

For the liquid I highly recommend chicken stock – of course, homemade is ideal (like Ina Garten says), but I understand that’s not feasible for many! If you don’t have chicken stock but do have vegetable stock on hand, that is the next best thing. If you have neither, combine 1 quart of water and bring it to a boil with 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 stalk of celery, 2 Garlic Cloves, and a couple of cracks of black pepper. Simmer it for at least 30 minutes if you can. Voila – a renegade version of homemade veggie stock.


Fresno peppers are quite spicy – so use sparingly if you don’t like spice. Alternatively, you can substitute the Fresno chili peppers for just a 1/2 Tbsp of red pepper flakes.


Any white bean will do – navy or cannelloni beans will likely be the easiest to find. The beans are divided in half and pureed with some of the stock. This gives the soup a velvety feel and the starch in the beans helps to thicken the soup. If you like your soup extra thick and want more of a liquid base – add another can of beans and puree them.


The toppings can be as numerous as you’d like. I kept it simple in these photos to use only greek yogurt and more Fresno peppers. However, you can use my dairy-free cilantro-lime crema on top (also great with tortilla chips) or avocados, crispy tortilla strips, or more!

Did you make this recipe?

I would love your feedback and see how it went! If you took pictures I’d love to be tagged on instagram!


White Chicken Chili

This spicy chili packs a punch! To minimize the spice, substitute red bell peppers for the Fresnos in the soup and simply garnish with a slice or two of Fresno at the end. This chili can be ready in as little as 30 minutes, however it can also be made ahead and simmer covered, on low, for up to an hour if you prefer. 

  • Author: thesommchef
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 5 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free



2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Shallot

3 Cloves of Garlic

1/4 Cup White Wine

2 Ears of corn, off the cobb ~2 Cups frozen corn

2 Fresno Chili Peppers (optional) or sub with bell peppers, divided

2 cans of White Cannelloni or Great Northern Beans – divided

2 Cups of Shredded Chicken (1/2 rotisserie, or 2 breasts)

4 Cups Chicken Stock

1 1/2 Tbsp Chipotle Powder

1 Tbsp Cumin

1 tsp Oregano

2 Tbsp Greek Yogurt


1. Mince shallots and garlic and add to a soup pot with some olive oil. Sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. 

2. Add in white wine and let simmer for 3 minutes. 

3. Add in corn and 1 minced chili pepper, or 1/2 of 1 red bell pepper. Sauté another 3 minutes.* 

4. Rinse beans well and take 1/2 the beans with 1/4-1/2 cup of stock and blend them in a blender or food processor. Add the blended and whole beans to the pot. 

5. Add chicken stock and chicken along with all the spices. Simmer, mostly covered (but let some steam escape) for 10 minutes. 

6. Add in large dollop of greek yogurt (can sub sour cream if desired) and stir well. 

7. Dish up the soup and top as desired with cheese, avocado, greek yogurt/sour cream, more peppers, chives, onions, etc. 


Fresno peppers can be quite spicy for some people, if you prefer a milder spice, use red bell peppers in the soup and just place a slice or two of a Fresno on the top to garnish.

*If you like to have thicker chili, Add the stock right after adding the corn and peppers, and then remove 1 cup of all the ingredients in the pot to blend with 1 cup of beans. This will make the soup extra creamy and thick without needing to add a lot of dairy. 


  • Serving Size: 8oz
  • Calories: 475

Keywords: Chili, Chicken, Quick Meals, Staple Meals, Soup, Spicy

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Hi! I'm Sydney,

nice to meet you!

I left a marketing career in Hollywood to go to the Culinary Institute of America. After a few years of working in restaurants, I am now a private chef and sommelier in the 30a area.


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